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How To Tell A Fake Marimo Moss Ball From A Real One!

Marimo moss balls are a very popular addition to a wide range of different aquarium setups and due to their low price tag and ease of use, they are becoming more and more popular with each year that goes by.

Still, we often see people asking about fake marimo moss balls and how you are able to tell the difference between the two as some of the algaes used in the fake marimo moss balls can actually cause algae blooms in your aquarium resulting in a time-consuming clean up operation.

For the most part, just going with a reputable marimo moss ball seller will be the best way to avoid getting the fake products.

But depending on your needs and your location, going with a plastic fake marimo moss ball may actually be better than going with a real one for some of our readers.

Still, we constantly see people reaching out and asking how they are able to identify the fake marimo moss balls so we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Now, by fake marimo moss balls, we mean the other moss balls on the market that are live moss or algae rather than the plastic ones we mentioned above that are easy to tell the difference between.

How Can You Tell If A Marimo Moss Ball Is Real?

The easiest way to tell is a marimo moss ball is real or fake is to look at its texture. A real marimo moss ball is fluffy and has a velvety texture to it while the inside of the ball obviously looks like compounded algae.

The algae that is used in the fake moss balls tends to be more strongly, not as smooth, and has a totally different texture to real marimo when touched.

Please keep in mind that marimo moss balls are a living organisms and as with all living things, they can be different to each other with some real marimo moss balls not looking their best.

This could be due to their growth rate., the nutrition that they have had available to them, or the age of the moss used in the ball.

Although a reputable marimo moss ball seller will always do their best to make sure that the moss balls that they ship to their customers looks its best, some low quality looking ones can sometimes be shipped out.

This can sometimes cause confusion as some of the underperforming real marimo moss balls can look as though they are fake due to their less perfect look.

Thankfully though, even these marimo moss balls still have that super soft, velvet touch to them offering a quick and easy way for you to tell if they are a real or face marimo moss ball.

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Are There Fake Marimo Moss Balls?

There are two kinds of fake marimo moss balls on the market. The plastic fake marimo moss balls are obvious and are marketed as an alternative for areas where real marimo moss is illegal to sell or intended for use in tanks that shouldn’t have real algae in them.

The live moss fake marimo moss balls are usually just a cash grab using a low quality algae or moss to try and earn a quick buck from unsuspecting aquarium keepers.

Now, one thing that we do want to point out is that not all moss balls are marimo moss balls and there other types of moss balls out there that are sold with their own intended use cases.

These are usually marketed as their own type of moss ball though as they are intended for a different customer base than marimo moss balls so they are clearly labelled as being something else just like the plastic fake marimo moss ball are clearly labelled as being plastic.

Even some pet stores have been tricked into selling fake marimo moss balls as real marimo moss balls over the years by suppliers trying to keep their costs as low as possible.

This is why we always recommend that our readers go with a reputable marimo moss ball seller who has an excellent reputation amongst the community for always providing their customers with real marimo moss balls that are healthy and free from any potential problems that may cause issues in your aquarium once you add them.


That brings our article going over how to identify fake marimo moss balls to an end. We hope that we have been able to help our readers better identify fake marimo moss balls as the majority of fakes that use other algae or moss types are worth a fraction of what a real marimo moss ball is worth. This is why the market was flooded with fake marimo moss balls a couple of years back due to so few people being able to tell the difference between a real or fake ball until it was too late and they had an algae bloom in their tank.